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Courseware & Insight at the Intersection of Tech & Strategy by Prof. John Gallaugher, Carroll School of Management, Boston College

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Chapter by Chapter Changes in version 5.0 of Gallaugher’s “Information Systems: A Manager’s Guide to Harnessing Technology” – Fall 2016

Below are detailed, chapter-by-chapter changes so that faculty using the earlier of the book can make a quick scan for areas their syllabi & teaching material might need some updating. I hope this is helpful!
– John

NEW VIDEOS (accompanying an already video-rich textbook):

  • Zipline drone delivery for serving remote medical care needs in Rwanda (Chapter 1 – Setting the Stage)
  • Updated link for video showing RFID use from distribution through warehouse at Zara. (Chapter 3 – Zara)
  • A damming new e-waste video shows how the Basel Action Network used tracking devices in electronics collected for recycling to uncover fraudulent partners in programs run by well-known organizations such as Dell and Goodwill. (Chapter 5 – Moore’s Law & More)
  • Video and information on Liam, Apple’s 29-armed recycling robot capable of processing an iPhone for repurposing and recycling in about 11 seconds. (Chapter 5 – Moore’s Law & More)
  • Dollar Shave Club $4,500 viral video, along with info on firm’s growth to $200M in sales in 4 years, and an eventual $1 billion sale to Unilever. (Chapter 9 – Social Media)
  • Uber co-founder & CEO Travis Kalanick’s 2016 TED Talk. (Chapter 10 – Sharing Economy)
  • Mark Zuckerberg introducing and demonstrating Facebook chatbot technology (Chapter 11 – Facebook)
  • Video of mCent by Jana, a platform which provides data credits to low-income users worldwide in exchange for their participation in marketing activities, surveys, or app downloads and trials. (Chapter 16 – Telecom)

 

CHAPTER 1 – SETTING THE STAGE

  • New info on strength of China’s tech giants, including statement that “Mobile juggernaut WeChat, owned by China’s Tencent, saw four times more payment transactions over Chinese New Year 2016 than PayPal did in all of 2015; 420 million Chinese used WeChat for payment over the holiday—about 100 million more than every man, woman, and child living in the United States
  • Updated data in the introduction, including the arresting statement that ” While tech creates new giants, also know that half of the Fortune 500 companies on the list in 2000 have fallen off since then as a result of mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies.”
  • New video featuring the Zipline drone delivery of medical supplies in Rwanda.
  • Updated statistics on many areas, including mergers and acquisitions activity and how this relates to various tech industries.
  • Section discussion careers in tech mentions Harvard Business Review article stating: “Leading a Digital Transformation? Learn to Code.”

CHAPTER 2 – STRATEGY AND TECHNOLOGY

  • TiVo’s struggles are mentioned as culminating with the sale of the firm to Rovi (which retained the TiVo name).
  • Scale discussion mentions firms without scale in the microprocessor industry, including AMD and IBM, which have sold off their manufacturing businesses, unable to achieve scale relative to rising fabrication plant costs.
  • Updated discussion of Apple distribution channels, including the role of Apple products in the launch of Apple Music subscription service.
  • Discussion of APIs added as a way for firms to extend distribution channels. Concept is defined and examples from Uber’s API use are introduced.
  • Distribution channels also linked to Google’s $1 billion spend to remain the search default for Safari on iOS.
  • Term “Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs)” is introduced and defined in discussion of patent trolls.
  • Updated data through 2015 comparing firm size among those that “followed” and did not lead, vs. those who pioneered and created competitive advantage.

CHAPTER 3 – ZARA

  • Updated statistics on Inditex growth and Gap’s struggles.
  • Amancio Ortega’s wealth is now #2 in the world (and he briefly surpassed Bill Gates to become the world’s wealthiest person).
  • Updated link to the illustrative video showing RFID in use across Zara’s distribution and retail systems.

CHAPTER 4 – NETFLIX CHAPTER

  • Updated to include the new flagship Netflix price of $9.95 (with two additional tiers, about $8 for non-HD streams, $12 for Ultra HD and watching on 4 simultaneous screens).
  • New information on the strength of personalization creating over $1 billion a year in value for the streaming business.
  • New information on the extent of Netflix international expansion (the firm is now in 190 markets worldwide).
  • New information on the current state and performance of Netflix original content.
  • Updated information comparing the bandwidth consumption of Netflix traffic vs. YouTube, Amazon, and Hulu. The scope of Netflix dominance is a good proxy for how much more the service is being used (via a combination of more subscribers and more time spent viewing) than rivals.
  • The old circle chart showing popular titles on Netflix vs. Amazon, Hulu, and Redbox streaming (now defunct) has been eliminated simply because the data is old, and the stats and related chart mentioned above is conveys similar concepts with newer data.

CHAPTER 5 – MOORE’S LAW

  • Medtronic PillCam intestinal camera is now mentioned in “Moore’s Law in Your Medicine Cabinet”. A photo of the device is included.
  • Included information on the nuances of Moore’s Law performance, including decelerating growth in PCs but accelerating growth in smartphones.
  • A damming new e-waste video shows how the Basel Action Network used tracking devices in electronics collected for recycling to uncover fraudulent partners in programs run by well-known organizations such as Dell and Goodwill.
  • Video and information on Liam, Apple’s 29-armed recycling robot capable of processing an iPhone for repurposing and recycling in about 11 seconds.

CHAPTER 6 – DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES

  • Concept of “value network” (which often appears in discussions of disruptive innovation, and which underscores the initial phase of disruptive tech that doesn’t appeal to most of an incumbent’s existing customer base) is introduced.
  • Challenges of disruptive technologies underscored by executive quotes citing missed opportunities by Facebook in mobile, and a quote from a senior Google exec on the firm’s multiple early misses in mobile and social.
  • Compelling example of AT&T relying on poorly-framed McKinsey data on potential market size, and as a result failing to see potential in the market for mobile telephony. The result was eventually spending $12.6B to acquire McCaw Cellular to catch up.
  • Updated information on Bitcoin and related technology, including Overstock’s bond issue using the blockchain, Nasdaq’s blockchain experimentation, and new multi-bank efforts to promote non-bitcoin blockchain technology.

CHAPTER 7 – AMAZON

  • Updated statistics through mid-2016, including Amazon’s string of consistent quarterly profits compared with rival struggles.
  • Refreshed information on same-day-delivery expansion.
  • Cash conversion cycle comparison chart / data updated.
  • Updated information on the growth of Prime, Marketplaces, Fulfillment-by-Amazon, and Amazon’s own branded product line expansion.
  • New information on Amazon’s operations, including the purchase of a fleet of thousands of long-haul semi-trucks, leased a score of cargo jets, and purchase of a French delivery firm that is a smaller competitor to FedEx and UPS.
  • Amazon’s MyHabit is now closed and is mentioned as one of the firm’s failed experiments.
  • Mention of Amazon’s AWS Dash button that savvy programmers can configure to do anything you can call from Amazon Web Services (may be interesting for faculty teaching technical topics on IoT or API programming).
  • New information on the Amazon Echo and the firm’s related voice-recognition interface product line.
  • Updated information on Amazon’s original content, including addition of well-known directors Woody Allen and Spike Lee.
  • Updated discussion of the failure and write-off of the Amazon Fire Phone.
  • New information on the size, scope, and profitability of the AWS business.

CHAPTER 8 – NETWORK EFFECTS

  • Mentioned HomeKit/Home and Apple’s messaging platform.
  • Updated information on Apple ecosystem, including ” every major maker of home accessories” supporting HomeKit.
  • Removed information on the largely failed MCX / CurrentC payments effort.
  • Samsung Pay’s backward compatibility is mentioned as enabling a wider acceptance network for the technology than for ApplePay, which requires new PoS readers for many retailers.
  • New BlueApron and Airbnb examples in the “Leverage Viral Promotion” section.
  • Social Proof defined and mentioned in “Leverage Viral Promotion”. It is also mentioned in the “Rent the Runway” chapter.
  • Added Didi/GrabTaxi/Ola/Lyft global alliance vs. Uber to the Alliances section.
  • Modified discussion of one sided networks to refer to messaging apps rather than IM platforms.
  • Removed reference to the Leap Motion fund and replaced it with funds by Oculus, Slack, and Amazon to encourage VR, business productivity and Alexa/Echo development, respectively; and Apple’s work promoting Swift via OpenSource and the Swift Playground learn-to-program app.

CHAPTER 9 – SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Refresh and update of much of the data around key players in social media: Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, WhatsApp, StackOverflow, GitHub, TripAdvisor, WeChat and more.
  • LinkedIn discussion mentions Microsoft’s acquisition of the firm.
  • Social Network section includes the Dollar Shave Club’s $4,500 viral video which helped spark a $200 million sales giant in four years, eventually leading to Unilever’s $1 billion acquisition mid 2016.
  • Instagram’s growth and success has been added to the “social network” section.
  • Discussion of Quirky in Crowdsourcing removed (the firm has filed for bankruptcy).
  • Refresh of information in the Twitter/Microblogging section, including tweet-an-emoji to order a pizza effort, and new info on Twitter financial and leadership.

CHAPTER 10 – SHARING ECONOMY

  • Updated firm names: RelayRides is now Turo, oDesk is now Upwork, Handybook is now Handy
  • Updated information on valuations, capital raised, market size, etc., for many firms, including Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, and ClassPass.
  • New information on GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Apple investments in sharing economy firms (specifically in ride-sharing).
  • Example added of the City of Boston working with Uber to identify traffic patterns used for infrastructure and city planning.
  • Updated info in the Uber mini-case on what reclassification from contract (1099) workers to employees (W2 workers) would mean for the firm.
  • Information on Uber’s withdrawal from the Chinese market, and its partnership with China-leader Didi, plus a discussion of the current status of Uber’s competition with Lyft.
  • Replacement of the old embedded video of Uber CEO with a newer TED talk from Feb. 2016.

CHAPTER 11 – FACEBOOK

  • Updated key stats on network reach & use.
  • Added mention of Facebook Live (Twitter Periscope competitor)
  • Mentioned the Facebook Messenger chatbot creation platform.
  • Included a small video of Zuckerberg introducing and demonstrating chatbot technology.
  • Added a question with a video showing a bot skeptic, asking students to consider the technology & offer their opinions on whether/when this tech makes sense and why.
  • Removed “Sponsored Stories” discontinuation discussion in favor of “Social Context” ad discussion, as well as benefits of these ads (50% improved recall, 35% improved sales lift).
  • Facebook’s Video Ad business is briefly compared to YouTube (with CPM, revenue sharing, and content discovery advantages mentioned).

CHAPTER 12 – RENT THE RUNWAY

  • Updated information on the firm’s Netflix-like “Unlimited” subscription service.
  • Statistics on growth, customer size, offerings, suppliers, capital raised, etc. refreshed through mid 2016.
  • Concept of the “pivot” is introduced and defined as a keyword. This is done within the context of how pivoting is often the result if an MVP (minimum viable product) does not yield results that suggest a scalable business.
  • Founders of $2 billion Houzz, TaskRabbit, and Shift added to the section mentioning women entrepreneurs.
  • Removed mention of Theranos CEO and co-founder Elizabeth Holms. Firm is no longer appropriate to highlight as an example of effective entrepreneurship.
  • Mentions work with UBS on “Project Entrepreneur”, cultivating entrepreneurship among women.

CHAPTER 13 – UNDERSTANDING SOFTWARE

  • Added JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) to section on Formats to Facilitate Sharing Data. JSON is often thought of as the more compact successor replacing XML in much machine-to-machine communication, and JSON is used for data exchange in most modern APIs.
  • Added Graphic Showing JSON compared with XML
  • Updated link to graphic accompanying link to Worldwide Smartphone OS Market Share

CHAPTER 14 – SOFTWARE IN FLUX

  • {no updates in this version}

CHAPTER 15 – DATA ASSET

  • Updated stats on the astonishing number of US deaths associated with medical errors.
  • Added a new callout section on Airbnb’s Smart Pricing and its advantages to the firm and property listers.

CHAPTER 16 – TELECOM

  • Updated UDP section, dropping references to Windows Media Player and Real Player, and instead mentioning Skype, Google Hangouts, Apple AirPlay and gaming.
  • Updated statistics on High Frequency Trading.
  • Clarified that Equinix is now a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) – many students will see this term for the first time & learn there are tax & dividend benefits if a firm can declare itself as a REIT. Yet another opportunity to link tech to other management disciplines.
  • Some information on promising 5G tests.
  • Additional satellite efforts (Branson’s OneWeb, Musk’s SpaceX) mentioned.
  • Project Loon (Google’s balloons), Project Link (Google fiber infrastructure in Ghana and Uganda), Facebook Aquila (solar-drone Internet), and Jana (data in exchange for online activities) is offered.
  • A video explaining Jana’s mCent service, which provides Internet access to users with low incomes in developing nations.

CHAPTER 17 – INFORMATION SECURITY

  • Updated information (through mid-2016) on the extent of cybercrime, the cost of breaches, etc.

CHAPTER 18 – GOOGLE

  • New chart on Alphabet’s various businesses
  • Updated statistics reflecting business and market share through mid-2016.
  • New info on Chromebook penetration and YouTube Red
  • Google’s Project Link in Ghana and Uganda also mentioned – a fiber initiative that has already laid massive networks in sub-Saharan Africa, and that may have a far bigger impact than the ‘sexier’ Project Loon balloon effort.
  • Distribution channels are costly – Google paid Apple $1 billion + a percentage of revenue to remain the iOS Safari search default.

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